Experience the gourmet farm-to-table lifestyle in Maui

If you’re headed to Maui and you want to try some of the best local foods, you’ve come to the right place. Following are several ways you can experience the farm-to-table lifestyle on the island. A few dedicated people have grown a family of several small companies that successfully thrive on living local. On a recent trip to Maui, I had the opportunity to interview Robert Comstock, the General Manager of Pacific’O Restaurant. Here’s what I learned:

“We have such a cool company,” Robert said. “We’re a lifestyle company. We keep everything contained to our passions. There are a lot of aspects. In Hawaii it’s called Ohana. It means family. We enjoy working together and spending our holidays together.”

Pacific'O restaurant on the beach

Pacific’O restaurant on the beach

Native Hawaiians had a sustainable system where the farmers traded with the fishermen so that they could all have a complete diet. It’s called Ahupua`a. It’s a Hawaiian word that means a self-sustaining unit from mountain to sea. We strive to live by this principle and we give people a number of ways to experience it:

Entertain the family at the Feast at LeLe

It’s hard to think about traveling to Hawaii without going to at least one luau. The Feast at LeLe is a sit-down dinner featuring five courses from the Pacific island nations of Aotearoa, Tahiti, Samoa and Hawai’i. This farm-to-table dinner includes a sunset show spotlighting music and dance from these four Pacific islands. At this table-service feast you get to eat authentic food from each different region.

Sunset Feast at LeLe in Lahaina, Maui

Sunset Feast at LeLe in Lahaina, Maui

Every table is intimate and offers a panoramic view of the West Maui sunsets. LeLe is the ancient name for Lahaina. This is the beach where the royal family of Maui would feast and entertain.

Splurge at Pacific’O fine dining restaurant in Lahaina

When you ask questions at Pacific’O, you’ll be happy with the answers you get.

Ask about their view. If you’re looking for beachfront or sunset dining in Maui, this is as good as it gets. “The location has been a big part of our success,” Robert said. “Other local restaurants such as Lahaina Grill are also rated highly, but they don’t have our view.”

Pacific'O on the beach

Pacific’O on the beach

Ask about the competition. “Pacific’O is the first privately owned restaurant to own its own farm in Hawaii. Today there are only a handful of farm-to-table restaurants in all of Hawaii,” Robert said. If you want to eat at a quality restaurant, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Ask about their menu. Chef Anton moved to Maui shortly after graduating from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco. Prior to joining the Pacific’O team, he spent ten years honing his craft in some of Maui’s highest ranked restaurants: the Sheraton Maui Resort, Gerard’s, Kimo’s and Star NoodleExecutive Chef Anton Haines has established himself as one of Maui’s rising star chefs by creating delectable menus based on in-season locally sourced foods.

Pacific'O Executive Chef Anton Haines

Pacific’O Executive Chef Anton Haines

Ask about their fish. “We are the top purchaser of fresh fish on Lahaina,” Robert said. “Giving cash back to the economy has several benefits. The money goes straight back into the fisherman’s pockets. Because the fish are caught and eaten locally, the distribution has very little impact on the environment.”

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Local fish, such as Onaga, are caught one day and delivered first thing the next morning to Pacific’O.

“The main benefit for you is that you get fish that’s been out of the water for only a day. The fish served here is about 85% local. The difference is that you see fresh clear translucent cuts, not the cloudy fish you see that’s older. When you taste the local fish here in HI, it’s lighter.  The government’s version of fresh fish is 20 days. You typically see fish wrapped in foam and you have to just trust what the labels say,” Robert said.

StahlerFreshGroundPepperCartoon“Once the fish comes in, it hangs for about 20 hours to give the chef some working time with the fish, and then it goes to your plate. Not only does it support the local people, once the fish are filleted and broke down, the rest of it is composted back into the compost tea at their farm. Nothing is wasted.”

Ask about their ingredients. Pacific’O has set the standard for farm-to-table cuisine on Maui. Local fruits and vegetables supplied by their own 8-acre farm in Kula, and free range eggs come from The Neighborhood Farm in Launiopoko. At any given time, about 30-70% of the produce comes from their own O’o farm. There’s nothing else quite like it on the island. The rest is locally sourced as much as possible. But in order to provide a full menu, they apply their own 70-mile rule, because they do get some foods from the big island.

Ask about their farms. If you want to learn more about where their food comes from, you can visit the O’o Farm and The Neighborhood Farm.

Enjoy a farm-to-table gourmet lunch outdoors at the O’o Farm

Enjoy a truly unique island experience at the O’o Farm in Upcountry Maui. Explore the gardens, learn the ways of all natural growing and sit down for a gourmet lunch prepared in your presence. The vegetables are harvested with you and then prepared in an outdoor kitchen.  It’s a pure expression of Hawaiian cuisine benefitting your body and soul. It’s as fresh as fresh can be! This is a guided tour of the farm where you can learn about sustainable growing practices. Even if you don’t have your own farm or backyard garden, you’ll appreciate this tour.

O'o Farm Tour Lunch Upcountry Maui Hawaii

Forage and feast at O’o Farm in the misty forest of Waipoli in Upcountry Maui

In 2000, surfing buddies turned successful restauranteurs, Louis Coulombe and Stephan Bel-Robert purchased over 8 acres of near-virginal upcountry land to grow natural produce for the Lahaina restaurant, Pacific’O. Louis, who’s passionate about flying, first noticed the property when he was paragliding. The property which had been a hippy commune years before, but it wasn’t maintained. It was overgrown with wattle trees.

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O’o Farm in Upcountry Maui, Hawaii

Louis and Stephan made a plan to set up natural growing practices and started executing the plan to clear the property and to plant exciting products for the plate. At first the diversified farm was largely experimental with a citrus and stone fruit orchard and a few coffee trees. Since then, they’ve diversified quite a bit. Today they focus on growing the things that are expensive to purchase and things that grow well in the Kula environment at 3200 feet.

Their goal is to provide vegetables locally sourced from Maui water, dirt and sun. It takes top dollar to even grow the plants, but it was especially challenging in the beginning since this place wasn’t set up for agriculture. They only have one hose for 8.5 acres, for example. The water comes from a water shed. It rains up there hundreds of inches a year. The farm is located in a place called the misty forest where mist drips off the trees.”

The chefs here don’t just see interesting pictures in a culinary magazine and decide to ship in ingredients from all over the world. When they want to add something to the menu, they first have to grow the crop, and know they can sustain it before they release the dish.

Get a caffeine buzz at the O’o Farm Seed to Cup Tour

Since roasting coffee was part of Louis’ weekend relaxation anyway, he decided to try roasting coffee beans for their own operations. Stephan is French and enjoys his coffee too. That’s how Aina Gourmet Coffee began. In 2009, Stephan, Louis and their chef partner James McDonald opened Aina Gourmet Market, a local foods marketplace with a full coffee bar serving 100% Maui grown and O’o Farm roasted coffee. They created a relationship with Ka’anapali Coffee Farms to grow five varietals on about 250 acres. O’o Farms purchases the beans and roasts them on their farm.

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Aina Gourmet Coffee Tour at O’o Farm

They built a world class coffee tasting room with an amazing view. Now they have a Seed to Cup tour on the O’o farm. You can walk through their tree groves and see the different stages of coffee trees. You can pick berries and then move up into the tasting room where you observe a live roast. It only takes about 15 minutes. And then you get to taste the coffee. The beans are single varietal, like a single varietal wine. They don’t over roast.

CLICK HERE to buy Aina Gourmet Coffee

CLICK HERE to buy Aina Gourmet Coffee

Wake up to Aina Gourmet Coffee in a luxurious resort

Coffee connoisseurs enjoy their morning brew as much as wine enthusiasts enjoy an evening glass of red. They describe their sips in terms of body, acidity, flavor and finish . . . ranging from mild to wild. Aina roasters focus on creating the perfect conditions to attain the right balance of flavors. All Aina Gourmet Coffee is 100% Maui grown and 100% O’o Farm roasted.

“Aina Gourmet Coffee is our brand of coffee. It’s grown on Ka’anapali Hillside by Ka’anapali Coffee Farms. We take their beans to our farm and roast them up there. We also grown our own coffee at O’o Farm but only enough to sustain the farm guests,” Robert said.

Aina Gourmet Coffee  is served at at Aina Gourmet Market in the Honua Kai Resort & Spa at Ka’anapali Beach, and also at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalu Resort. Both markets are very busy and have a big following. We also make our coffee in a French press at Pacific’O and we sell it whole or ground in half-pound and one-pound bags at every venue we have. From ground to roast is about 2-3 days. With this turn-around time, you don’t lose any essence of the coffee itself,” Robert said.

Get to know some local chicks at The Neighborhood Farm

Participate in the Egg Farm & Gourmet Lunch tour at The Neighborhood Farm in the scenic West Maui Mountains. This is a free-range chicken farm in Launiopoko. It sits on 15 acres of agriculture land at the top of the hill. This educational chicken tour is for both locals and tourists interested in learning about how to farm chickens.

Free Range Chickens

During the first part of the tour, you enjoy spectacular ocean and mountain views, learn about the history of the area and meet local chicks. These beautiful free-range hens are kept outdoors so they can enjoy fresh grass and bountiful bugs every day. The 750-1000 birds enjoy coops with million-dollar views. They’re contained by soft electric fences to help keep the predators out. This is a concept of how you can raise eggs locally, without large-scale commercial farming. The farm provides eggs for local restaurants and grocery stores.

The second part of the tour is followed by a meal served in the seaside ambiance of the Pacific’O restaurant in Lahaina. It’s about 10 minutes from The Neighborhood Farm. This gourmet meal features dishes from freshly gathered eggs. Contact Pacific’O to make reservations for this lunch tour.

Harvest produce at the O’o Farm volunteer program

If you’re interested in volunteering at the farm, you can pair up with a farmer to do some real harvesting. You get lunch and you get to spend the day working with Head Farmer Richard Clark and Orchard Manager Ancil Clancy.

Which of these experiences suits your taste?

These interdependent sister companies make up one small lifestyle company that has grown from the ground up, literally. If you cherish your health and the well-being of our planet, support farm-to-table businesses like these. Because of the popularity of their food and tours, it’s a good idea to make reservations at least several days in advance.

Tools like Yelp, UrbanSpoon and TripAdvisor give local businesses the opportunity to thrive among big and impersonal, but well-known franchises. Yelp and UrbanSpoon even allow you to search for “farm-to-table” restaurants by location no matter where you are in the world.

ValleyIsleKombuchaIf you’re willing to take the time to read through customer review rants and raves, you’ll often find that local businesses do a better job overall of providing personalized service. And you have the opportunity to experience the local culture as well as support people in pursuit of the dreams and passions. How many people have the opportunity to do this when they work for a franchise?

“We know who not to purchase from,” Robert said. “We only buy from people we know really well. We have Valley Isle Kombucha on tap here at Pacific’O to support a local producer.” When you choose to support lifestyle companies, everyone benefits.

“We’re all fisherman, all the owners and management. Stephan has a sailboat in the harbor. We go spear fishing on the back side of Lanai. It’s nice when you can park your boat in front of your restaurant,” Robert said.

Franchises are basically branded distribution systems. In most cases, their main focus is on maintaining the consistent taste and feel of their brand. Most are more concerned about their profit than your health. Why eat mediocre food from afar at a franchise when you can eat wholesome locally grown fresh food at a farm-to-table restaurant?

 

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14 Marriage jokes to liven up your anniversary

Everyone should get married at some time. After all, happiness isn’t the only thing in life. TensionNot

One of the reasons my husband and I decided to get married on a holiday weekend was to ensure that we’d always have the opportunity to get away for our anniversaries. This year my husband and I spent out 14th anniversary in Maui. What does a blogger want to do on her anniversary? Interview her husband, of course.

Lorraine and Bob celebrating 14th anniversary in Maui

Lorraine and Bob celebrating 14th anniversary in Maui

So as we sipped our fresh fruit smoothies before heading to the beach for the day, I asked my husband to help me brainstorm 14 tips for a happy marriage. I figured we should have learned at least one valuable lesson for each year of marriage. It didn’t take us long at all to come up with the following ideas:

1. Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener. Anonymous

When you date someone for months or even years, it’s easy to get a false sense of security that you really know him or her. Most people are somewhat flexible when it comes to dating and courting. But inevitably, a new set of expectations kicks in when once you’re married. Based on culture and family history, people enter marriage with fixed notions of what they want from their life partner.

Try to have as much fun as possible as you iron out your differing assumptions and intentions. Look for opportunities to do things together that you both enjoy doing. Maintaining a strong marriage is a lifelong process.

2. Successful partners have a perfect understanding: he won’t try to run her life, and he won’t try to run his either. Anonymous

“Selfishness is one of the keys to failure,” my husband says. Keep prioritized lists of ways to please your spouse. For some, this is automatic. You probably already know your spouse’s favorite foods or hobbies, but other things may not be so obvious. If your spouse is going through a difficult time, you can ask, “What are several things I can do for you to help make this week easier for you?” The response may surprise you. It’s all about Love & Respect.

You can use this same list strategy for fun times. When you’re going on vacation together, you can ask, “What 3-5 things are most important for you on this trip?” When you approach marriage with a “me second” attitude, you’re much more likely to be rewarded with a fulfilling marriage. My husband said he liked this joke: “My wife and I agreed that I’d make all the big decisions and she’d make all the little decisions. In all these years, there just haven’t been any big decisions.”

3. When a girl marries, she exchanges the attentions of many men for the inattention of one. Helen Rowland

Find ways to do something together even if it means that you take breaks to do things that interest you. There’s a balance of doing things together while inserting extra activities along the way. My husband likes snorkeling, so we both have a good day when we go to a beach where he can snorkel while I read, walk, socialize or take pictures.

My husband sometimes likes watching (and napping through) golf or football on Sunday afternoons, but that doesn’t stop us from spending the afternoon together. I don’t mind golf in the background, except for all the annoying viagra and drug commercials. But when he watches football, he wears a headset while I write or do something else.

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4. Marriage is like having cable with one channel. Nathanel Stroman

People are naturally habitual. Some routines are good, but some aren’t. Take the time to label your good and bad routines and discuss the ones where you don’t agree. Find ways to weed out bad relationship habits or routines. Stay out of daily, weekly, monthly and annual ruts. Some people go the same place for holidays or vacation year after year, without taking advantage of how refreshing it can be to do something new.

Go someplace that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable. Visit family members you haven’t seen for a while or go to a foreign country. When you go out and explore new places together, you have to rely on each other. It puts a new aspect on partnering when you team up through new experiences.

5. The honeymoon is over when he phones to say he’ll be late for supper and she’s already left a note that it’s in the refrigerator. Bill Lawrence

My husband was a widower with five children. We got married on Labor Day weekend. Little did I know at that time how appropriate that date was for a woman diving into an instant family! But it surprised me when my husband insisted that we continue dating at least one evening a week, even after we got married. He believed in the importance of date nights with just the two of us.

Although I didn’t think it would be possible with children, he taught me that it was especially important when you have children. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going out for a Saturday night dinner or a Sunday afternoon stroll in the park. The important thing is to take some time where just the two of you can chat and catch up without the distractions of housekeeping, grocery shopping, preparing meals or caring for children. When you take time out for regular romantic interludes, it allows you to flush out small issues before they build up to big blowouts.

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6. We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops. Henny Youngman

When you’re married, you’ll inevitably experience a roller coaster of emotions at different times. You may hurt your spouse or vice versa. But it’s important to let things go. This also means that you don’t overthink who makes more money, who does more cooking, or who does more or less of anything on any given day. As a couple, you have one bank account and you’re both responsible for making sure the finances balance at the end of each month.

Together you’re responsible for taking care of all the time-consuming details it takes to manage a family. How you spend your time and money says a lot, so it’s important to have an open checkbook and calendar so you each know how you’re spending your most important assets. “Awareness is good, but don’t keep score,” my husband says. Stay focused on the bigger picture.

7. I think we explored the further reaches of “for better or for worse.” Mary Archer

Children add both pleasure and stress to marriage. In a family situation, it’s critical to be united. When children are involved, it’s vital to discuss how you want to handle child-rearing and discipline. Don’t argue in front of your children or other family members. Work out your disagreements one-on-one whenever necessary.

It’s totally ok to have open discussions where everyone can voice their concerns and opinions, but once a decision is made, it’s important that at least one parent take the lead to see it through. This is part of being a team. This isn’t necessary for every little decision, but it can be important on bigger decisions where family members have conflicting views.

8. Husband: One who stands by you in troubles you wouldn’t have had if you hadn’t married him. Anonymous

Differing values are pushed onto relationships through family traditions and culture, but you don’t have to succumb to them in your home. This can be especially challenging with blended families where children are exposed to different households with conflicting house rules. And it can become intensified as kids are sorting through their own values through their teen years.

Look for ways to blend, support and even restrain differing values. It has always been important to me that the children eat real foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But I had to learn to let this go during holiday time with family members who have different standards.

Go Away! And other good advice parents should give kids

It’s actually beneficial for kids to be exposed to different values, traditions, cultures and lifestyles. It helps them learn from a young age that they have the freedom to decide how they want to manage their own lives after they move out.

9. The only thing worse than a husband who never notices what you cook or what you wear is a husband who always notices what you cook and what you wear. Sandra Litoff

SchwadronCartoonWifeStud

When everything about your marriage feels too predictable, it can become boring. Avoid getting into comfort zone ruts or bad habits that cause stagnation. Try new things together. Another great way to break up your routine is to travel. When you get away from home, you’re automatically forced into new circumstances that allow you to try new things. Be daring together. Try new foods, buy youthful outfits, go skinny dipping, do something that surprises your spouse in a fun way.

10. My husband said he needed more space . . . so I locked him outside. Rosanne Barr

Going out with the guys or having a ladies night out is ok in moderation. but it’s more important to do stuff together. Sitting on the couch together is nice, but if that’s all you do night after night, you’ll turn into couch potatoes . Ever since I’ve known my husband, he has been been finding ways for us to try new things together to create memories. “You have to plan for them. They don’t just happen automatically,” he says. Sometimes it may just be the two of you together, but it’s equally important to mix it up by doing things with friends and family.

11. Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution? M.L. Mencken

If you enjoy spending most of your non-working hours with your spouse, then you likely to have a strong marriage. If you don’t want to spend time together, it’s critical to figure out why and work through the issues. If either partner feels trapped or confined, both will suffer. It’s much easier to have a happy marriage when you’re married to your best friend.

12. Before marriage, a man will go home and lie awake all night thinking about something you said; after marriage, he’ll go to sleep before you finish saying it. Helen Rowland

Opposites attract. When couples fall in love, it’s sometimes despite the innate characteristics of their partner . . . the things that make them tick. These are the things that can make or break a marriage. Do you know your spouses’s love language? My sister, Jan, is passionate about art and her husband, Periklis, is passionate about flying. They’ve always been supportive of each other pursuing their dreams, despite their differences and fears:

How an artist leverages her passion to suppress fear

Supporting each other in pursuit of your passions sometimes involves short-term sacrifices as you work toward living out your dreams. Always listen to the voice deep inside you. It will guide you to your true north. And encourage your spouse to do the same. It may mean you need to temporarily set aside some fears or short-term desires in order to reach larger goals, but in the end, you’ll both be much happier.

13. I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. Rita Rudner

Take the time to look over your marriage and think about your last several months or years. It’s much easier to laugh at the difficult situations after time has passed. Cherish the challenging times as opportunities that allowed you to learn more about each other. Reflect on the best experiences you’ve had with your spouse.

Find ways to create more positive memories while avoiding the not-so-good experiences in the future. Keep your mind on the good times and positive things that have happened over the years. Practice The 4:8 Principle.

14. The secret to a happy marriage is a secret. Henny Youngman

Make a conscious effort to discover your spouse’s hot points and what they need to feel loved. Some people need words of encouragement while others need a lot of touch. It can take years or even decades for couples to really understand each other. Some people are too embarrassed, shy or afraid to share their true feelings. Some people remain pent-up for years or even decades.

If you can learn to communicate fully and truthfully, you’ll have a much better chance at understanding each other’s deepest feelings and moving to new levels of trust. This can help you unlock ways to resolve your differences. Explore new ways to enjoy your sex life. If you’re happy in bed, you’re more likely to be happy everywhere else.

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I enjoyed pulling together this list with my husband. It was a fun exercise that gave us an opportunity to reminisce and laugh. Together, we came up with more than 14 ideas, jokes and quotes in less than an hour. I hope these marriage jokes help to liven up your anniversary.

Later in the day I asked my husband if he would tell me the 14 things I do that annoy him the most and I would do the same for him. But he said he wasn’t in the mood for playing that game.

If you have something you’d like to add to the list, please leave a comment. There’s no such thing as a marriage that’s too good!




Happy birthday tip: Plan something spectacular every month

Think about how many obligatory trinket and gadget gifts you’ve received over the years . . . the ones you forget about within a few weeks. Most are a waste of money, right?

What if there was something you could give yourself that would change the course of your life? Too good to be true? Not so. You don’t have to spend any money, but you have to do something that’s even more difficult for most. You have to invest a little time thinking about your future. One of the best gifts you can receive on your birthday is one you give to yourself.

“It’s my wife’s birthday tomorrow,” my friend told me. “So last week I asked her what she wanted as a present. ‘Oh, I don’t know ,’ she said. ‘Just give me something with diamonds.’ That’s why I’m giving her a pack of playing cards. Jokes4Us

When was the last time you got your car aligned? It was probably more recently than the last time to aligned your activities, habits and lifestyle with your passion, dreams and deepest desires. The more your daily activities align with these, the more likely you are to be happy, productive, likable, and in the long run, more successful. This can be the happiest year of your life.

Lots of people wait until New Year’s Eve to make a resolution or set new goals. But consider this: your birthday is your own personal New Year’s Day. This is an ideal time to reflect on the prior year of your life. What went well? What do you want to increase in your life? What do you want to decrease or eliminate?

How to get happy now via habits, goals and resolutions

If you create a clear vision and top it off with strong desire, you can have an amazing year. Begin with what you want your life to be this time next year. Can you really change your life in a year?

Think big. A woman (with a little help from a man) can create a new life in nine months. As an intelligent adult who knows you better than anyone else, you should certainly be able to make a few adjustments in your life’s direction in the next 9-12 months, right?

TipForaHappyBirthday
In the next nine months, you could move to a new location, get a new job, or turn your hobby into a business. You can improve a relationship or get yourself out of a bad one. You can save up to travel to that place you’ve been wanting to go. What do you want to do? It’s your life and it’s your new year. Why not make it a good one?

It’s helpful to set monthly milestones that get you closer to where you want to be. If you’re unhappy with your long work commute, for example, there are many ways to solve the issue:

  • find a new job
  • work with your employer to work from home some of the time, or all of the time
  • find a new place to live
  • turn your favorite hobby into a business with a plan to quit your jobl
  • learn a new skill so you can work toward a promotion or new occupation
  • use public transportation or a carpool to get to work so you can make better use of your commute time

Any one of these could be a monthly milestone to help you reach your goal.

This CAR game will drive you crazy

It’s easy to look at an issue, such as a long commute, and feel stuck. If you feel stuck in a job, home or relationship, think about this. Assuming you make it to your next birthday, you’re going to be busy living life each and every day. You’re going to have some happy days and some stressful days. Life is a roller coaster. So why not spend your up and down days taking action to build a happier future for you and the people around you?

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The Roller Coaster by Angela L Walker

Lots of people choose to mask their dissatisfactions with nonproductive pastimes such as:

  • drinking too much
  • overeating
  • zoning out on video games, movies or TV
  • following rabbit trails on social media
  • watching spectator sports

Perhaps some of your closest friends or family members attempt to indulge and subdue you with similar junk on your birthday: pizza, cake, ice cream, sodas, alcohol, gag gifts and so on.

If you cycle deeper into these escapes year after year, it’s easy to let an entire year go by without changing anything. You will have all the same problems next year that you have now, and possibly even more. Would you like to put your head down in the sand or up in the sky?

What goes up and never comes down?

Your age. Jokes4Us

There’s no such thing as bad habits

Your life is like a garden. Weeds are always growing. Life weeds are the issues that inevitably come up in relationships, work, health, or finances, for example. You have to continue to weed your life garden in order to refresh your mind, body and soul.

If you decide to concentrate on your most pressing issues one-by-one, in search of solutions, you can eventually find ways to resolve them. Choose to pull the weeds out of your life. If you do, you can look forward to this time next year with excitement and anticipation. Everyone gets one day older every day, but few continue to grow and mature into their full potential day after day. Do you want to be average or above average?

TantrumCartoonNickAndZuzu

As you plan your most important milestones for each of the upcoming twelve months, have a vision in mind. Close your eyes and picture yourself one year from now. What would you like to be, do or have? How is it different from now? What bridges do you need to build to get there?

As you consider the changes you need to make, it helps to set milestones for the upcoming twelve months. Be reasonable. Don’t underestimate or overestimate what you can do in the next 30, 60 or 90 days. The most important thing is that you get started and create movement in the direction you want to go.

How to have a very happy birthday

Once you begin taking actions to create change, momentum builds and propels you forward, helping you find the ways and means to skip steps and accomplish goals faster than you originally anticipated. The more you engage others in your vision and the more activities you take toward it, the luckier you become.

This can be your happiest birthday ever. Now that you have the gift, it’s up to you to decide what to do with it.

This is your life. Are you who you want to be? Is it everything you dreamed that it would be? Switchfoot

CLICK ON IMAGE TO SUBSCRIBE NOW to Rascal Radio. This is the world’s first online personal development radio service. By putting the right thoughts into your mind every day, you can start living the life you’ve always wanted to live. You only have one life. You’re worth it.

 




How an artist leverages her passion to suppress fear

“At 2000 feet above the earth, as if dangling from a thread, all my attention is on the landscape below,” Jan says. “I haven’t forgotten my fear, but I set it aside as my husband dips the wing of the small aircraft so I’m better able to photograph the sights below.”

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My Silver Lining No.3 by Jan Clayton

Her husband, Periklis Pagratis, began flying about six years ago. He earned his private pilot’s license in 2008. More recently he became a Certified Flight Instructor and is now teaching others to fly. He owns a small airplane and flies often. When he first began flying, Jan worried all the time and would be in despair every time he went up.

“It took a while, but I knew the fear and anxiety that I was experiencing was my issue, not his,” Jan said. “I didn’t want my fears to inhibit his love and passion for flying in any way. Because I love my husband and wanted to participate in the activity he loves most, I began to fly with him last year. Overcoming fear is a process that seems to have no end. It’s still difficult for me.”

If you have a fear of flying, heights, darkness, dentists, needles, public speaking or something else, it may seem impossible to get over it. Embracing fear, on the other hand, is possible. When your passion or desire is strong enough, you can find ways to suppress fear. When you do, you have a chance to do something positive.

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Merge No.1 by Jan Clayton

“I try to do this with a mix of diversion, trust and faith. I keep my brain occupied with something positive other than the concern about our safety. I trust my husband to handle that. My faith is strengthened by the magnificent beauty of the world around me, especially when viewed from above,” Jan said.

The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them. Antoine de Saint-Exupery  in his book Wind, Sand and Stars

“My fear of flying in small aircraft slapped me in the face about five years ago when my husband became a pilot. I was destined to come face-to-face with this fear and learn to deal with it,” Jan said. “I knew I’d eventually have to fly with him. He flies all the time, but it took me almost five years to build up enough courage to go up in the air with him. When I finally made the decision to go, I took my camera. It wasn’t a conscious decision to overcome the fear, it was just a way to distract myself. Once I was up there, I saw so many gorgeous things going on in the landscape. I was captivated. I tuned into it immediately. It all happened by accident.”

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela


“Although my fear is ever present, once we’re in the air and I see the landscape below, the voices in my head quiet down. The landscape below captures my attention and I’m compelled to get down to work with my camera,” Jan said.

Her latest body of work is derived from fear, love and passion, all of which are enduring emotions in her life: fear of flying, love for her husband and passion for making art.

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Tidal Salt Marsh No.2 by Jan Clayton

“At first, the idea of coalescing my passion with my fear seemed like an odd mix, but coming to the canvas from a new angle, literally a bird’s eye view, has magnified the breadth of the work,” Jan said. She’s inspired by artists who have passion along with commitment and perseverance.

One has to believe in what one is doing, one has to commit oneself inwardly, in order to do painting. Once obsessed, one ultimately carries it to the point of believing that one might change human beings through painting. But if one lacks this passionate commitment, there is nothing left to do. Then it is best to leave it alone. Robert Rauschenberg

“It’s a strange conundrum to be aloft and detached, suspended in the air for an hour or so, then back on the ground with the surface of the earth underfoot. Seeing the earth from a different vantage point is so fascinating. The bird’s-eye-view gives me unique information about the subject. In this case, it’s the landscape. There’s so much to take in. Because we’re moving and the light is changing, I never know when or from where the next opportunity for a great photograph will appear,” Jan said.

There’s a constant state of movement you experience when flying in a small aircraft, not only because the airplane is moving, but also the surrounding natural world is changing.

“My preference is to be in the air very early dawn or late afternoon to dusk. From an artist’s perspective, the light at this time is the most beauful. The sunlight rakes across the landscape horizontally and defines the shapes of the trees, grasses, and other objects with long shadows. The colors aren’t bleached out by the sun’s harsh rays, but instead are almost glowing. The view from above is breathtaking. The waterways meander their way down to the ocean. The reflecting light on the surface of the water is in stark contrast to the land and saltmarsh. The tides are moving, waves are pounding, clouds are building, the earth is rotating and the light is fleeting.”

“The first time I flew over Tybee Island, I realized just how small the island really is and just how vulnerable it is to the whim of the ocean, the weather and the inhabitants. When viewed from above, all the problems that people have with each other, all our differences seem so small and insignificant. Sometimes we forget that we are nothing but small invisible parts of a bigger picture.”

“This bird’s-eye-view vantage point is enlightening on so many levels. Perhaps my work will inspire others to become more interested in the history or ecology of the area. It inspired me. I have a deeper appreciation of the importance of keeping our environment healthy. Georgia has a stunning coastline filled with wetlands and barrier islands. There is beauty and diversity. It’s wonderful to be able to share the scenery from above and through this perhaps a few more folks will gain an interest in the Georgia estuarine marshlands and its importance to the health of our planet,” Jan said.

“Change is constant and focusing on what divides us is futile while focusing on what unites us is beneficial. It’s worthwhile to preserve healthy relationships with others and our natural surroundings,” Jan said.

Being an artist is celebrating life. Henry Moore

If it weren’t for her husband’s passion for flying, she never would have experienced these new landscapes. Her current work is a combined effort of her finding a new way to apply her passion from a new perspective–up in the air.

Jan Clayton Periklis Pagratis fear flying artist

Jan and Periklis

She’s not really over the fear, but it changes her focus when she’s up in the air. She gets excited about what the landscape offers on that day. Despite her fear, now she wants to fly because each photograph adds to the overall body of work.

Currently, this collection contains photos of the area just below Tybee. She wants to go back up so she can shoot Tybee, St. Simons and Hilton Head. And she has her sights on other locations as well.

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St. Catherine’s Sound No.1 by Jan Clayton

Jan constantly draws inspiration from her daily interactions with the people in her life, her natural surroundings and the media. To her, art is about life. It’s about processing experiences and interconnectedness with others and the environment. It is an endlessly fascinating and continually developing process of discovery, intuition, improvisation, and finally reconciliation.

Jan Clayton’s works are featured at Kobo Gallery, located in the heart of the historic district in Savannah, Georgia. You can also see more of her collection on her website at at JanClayton.com.

fear is not real ACIM Jan Clayton Pagratis




7 Tips on drugs from a personal medication consultant

Are you busy taking care of your elderly parents? You may not understand everything that’s going on with their medications and the potential errors that might be happening. Do you want to help keep your parents as healthy as possible, but you feel confused with all the information and don’t have enough time or expertise to find all the answers?

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More than half of Americans 65 and older take five or more prescription medications at any given time APhA. If you, or someone you know, is taking multiple prescriptions, you’ll want to read on. Getting advice from a personal medication consultant could help you reduce your risk of adverse drug interactions or possibly even save your life!

Dr. Carrie Fu is a personal medication consultant who has a passion for senior medication wellness and healthcare management.

“I help people set goals to manage their health and embrace life without being dependent on drugs. I also help people avoid risks that result from medication errors and oversights.” Dr. Fu said.

Here are some general guidelines from Dr. Fu:

1. Stick with one pharmacy.

This way, all your drug information is based in one place. When you go to multiple drug stores, they don’t have your complete medication history so they can’t check for drug interactions.

2. Keep a list of all your medications.

Each person should have a personalized medication list, not only their current medication, but also their past meds. You can type up a document or just write it down. You should give your medication list to all your providers, including your pharmacist, dentist, acupuncturist, primary care physician, or anyone who is providing your health care. Dr. Fu recommends that you check the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists website for an online form to record your Medicine List. For additional tips, refer to Helping patients keep and up-to-date medication list from the American Pharmacist Association.

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3. Get a consultation every time you pick up a prescription.

Ask for a pharmacist consultation before you take your prescription. Find out how to best take it. It’s always a good idea to ask the pharmacist if there’s anything in particular you need to watch out for.

  • Are there any side effects?
  • How long do I need to take this?
  • Should I take it with or without food?

4. Take into consideration over-the-counter drugs and vitamins.

A lot of people don’t realize that vitamins are like medicine. If you take too many vitamins you could get a kidney stone, for example. Or if you’re taking a thyroid medication you need to know that you shouldn’t take calcium supplements within four hours NIH MedLinePlus.

5. Don’t abruptly stop medications for chronic conditions.

If you want to taper off or discontinue your medication, it’s critical that you consult with your doctor, pharmacist or a specialist. If you abruptly stop taking your blood pressure medication, for example, you increase your risk of having a stroke.

6. Have one medical professional who has access to all your medication history.

Medication errors can happen when a patient moves from one location to another. Problems often arise when patients change care between a hospital and a retirement home.

7. Know your rights, resources and benefits.

It’s important to get more involved with your own healthcare. You can start by going to AHRQ for suggestions on how to ask questions and talk to your clinicians. It’s also important to understand your drug prescription benefits under Medicare Part D.

Dr. Carrie Fu

Dr. Carrie Fu

Dr. Carrie Fu is a consulting pharmacist who specializes in personal medicine and Medication Therapy Management (MTM). As a medication consultant, she helps her clients understand their medication and feel well.

Even if you have a chronic condition, you can still be well. She helps people to be as healthy as possible from a medication perspective. She wants to help her patients be in the best health by taking the least amount of medications. Whether you have diabetes, high blood pressure or another chronic condition, Dr. Fu can help improve your medication regimen.

Health is your #1 asset. She helps people to embrace life without being dependent on medications. There’s no magic bullet, but there are always options. She’s a health coach who focuses not on your illness, but on creating more wellness in your life. She is also on the provider panel at Doctor Quickly. To set up your own personalized medication consultation, contact Dr. Carrie Fu.




Chinese Medicine doctor halts man’s chronic stomach problems

Dr. Lily Wu met a young man at a store when she was returning a purse that she had purchased. When he noticed on her account that she was a doctor, he asked what kind of doctor she was.

After she told him that she was a Chinese Medicine doctor, he proceeded to tell her about his severe stomach problems that he had been having for the past five years. He had no appetite and didn’t want to eat at all.

“Can you help me?” he asked. “I’ve tried everything, but nothing worked. But I haven’t tried Chinese medicine.”

“What are your symptoms?” she asked.

He told her that he woke up every morning feeling nauseous. He had no appetite and couldn’t eat breakfast. Sometimes he couldn’t even drink water because he felt like his stomach was closed up. His also mentioned that his mother had similar chronic stomach problems.

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He was about 5’10 and only 140 pounds. He usually couldn’t eat until around lunch time when he felt he had to force himself to eat even though he didn’t feel like it. Sometimes at lunch he would eat and then have stomach pain afterward.

Because he was a 23-year old business student, his digestive issues also had a negative affect on his social life. He couldn’t go out to eat with friends. And he couldn’t take vacations because his symptoms would get worse.

Dr. Wu told him to come to her clinic. There, they talked more. She diagnosed that it was a liver and spleen energy imbalance issue. After diagnosis, she gave him a treatment and prescribed an herbal supplement for him to take.

In the first week he didn’t have any improvement because he had a hard time swallowing the pills. He didn’t take the full dose as she recommended. But after about 10 days he started feeling some improvement. He woke up with an appetite and wanted to eat. He used to have constipation and night sweats, but now he doesn’t.

Before he saw her he had been to many doctors and he also tried meditation. But nothing worked.

“You saved my life!” he told her.

“It makes me feel so good when I can help my patients like this,” Dr. Wu said. “When people have chronic conditions like this, the symptoms can go back and forth. It’s important to know how to take good care of your stomach.”

All you can eat 3.ai

The main causes of stomach aches are poor eating habits and stress. Here are some tips from Dr. Wu on how to avoid stomach issues:

Dr. Lily Wu

Dr. Lily Wu

  • Eat warm foods. Ice cold drinks and foods put extra stress on the stomach.
  • Drink plenty of water (warm water is best). Sometimes when the body is dehydrated, people mistake it for hunger and end up overeating.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently.
  • Avoid overly sweet, salty, oily or spicy foods.
  • Stop eating when you feel about 70% full.
  • Wait 30-60 minutes after meals before doing any strenuous exercise. It is helpful, however, to take a walk after a meal.
  • Don’t eat about two or three hours prior to going to bed.

Dr. Wu earned her Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the University of East-West Medicine. She’s a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She is on the Palo Alto Medical Foundation doctors’ referral list of qualified acupuncturists.

She practices in San Jose, CA. For more information, visit her website at Lily Wu Acupuncture. She is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese.

Acupuncture helps man with ankle pain to avoid 3rd surgery




Food biz coach offers 9-step process for edible startups

“Most food entrepreneurs suck at marketing and sales . . . and most don’t know how to launch their business,” says Mari-Lyn Harris, a food entrepreneur coach based in Silicon Valley. But if you get help from an expert, you increase your odds of succeeding. Here’s her 9-step recipe for success to help you launch your tasty idea:

1. Start where you are.

So you’ve decided to start a food business? Maybe someone inspired you. Mari-Lyn wanted to start a pie business as a vehicle for social change. She explored the idea, but had to figure out how to get the product into the marketplace. Her neighbor was going to have a garage sale every weekend for a month, so she set up a little table at the garage sale. She got people to sample her pies.

PieChartCartoonStarting where you are means that you have to get people to sample your product. By starting where you are, you begin by figuring out how to get your product into the hands of customers. Find ways to get your product to more people so they can try it. Mari-Lyn calls it “the five-minute bite.” You can do home parties. Just like when you go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market, you sample the food. They know if you like it, you’re more likely to buy it.

Mari-Lyn empowers food entrepreneurs to move forward. Your inner voice may be telling you that you can’t do it or you can’t afford it. But you have to challenge yourself.

“You may not know where to go or how to get started. You may not know where the money will come from, but if you have a great family recipe or great food idea, reach out for help. Don’t give up until the means and resources show up,” says Mari-Lyn.

2. Create your vision.

It’s important that you create a vision for yourself and your business. It gives clarity, direction and buy-in from other people. If you don’t begin with your vision, all your good intentions will be scattered and nonproductive.

A vision statement is more important than your mission. You need to know where you want to go with your idea. Make your vision statement the business you want to grow into. It’s the dream you’re going after. What does it look like? Can you clearly describe it to others?

Cultured Gourmet's Kraut Source

Cultured Gourmet’s Kraut Source

3. Test your product.

Give people free samples and ask for their feedback. Get feedback from people outside your friends and family. If you have a product for weddings, for example, you can offer samples to people who are getting married and caterers to see if they like your product. If not, don’t be offended. Just ask them why. It’s useful feedback.

To test your product, you have to find a way to do it underground. Reach out to professionals to give you a review of your product, such as food bloggers or people who write about food products. Then you can know if your product may be well received.

Engage your customers. You have to deliver for them what they want. Let your customers be your advocates.

To get into a farmer’s market, food truck or market, you have to be licensed. You don’t want to do that right away until you know your product will be viable.

4. Have an audience.

You may have a great idea, but it doesn’t mean it will work. You need to keep testing your product and get feedback from potential customers. Narrow in on your “tribe.”

A lot of food entrepreneurs think that everyone is their audience, but it’s not so. Mari-Lyn discovered that men like pies more than women, but women are the ones who buy pies for the men in their lives. Your research helps you discover who will buy your product. “This is your tribe.”

5. Set up a sales and marketing strategy.

Marketing and sales are two different things. Marketing is the promotion and buzz of your product. Sales is when you actually sell a product or service.

Sales is not a negative or dirty word. It’s about developing relationships with people to get sales. A sale won’t happen until you speak to people. Technology can’t do this for you. You may have great pictures and descriptions on your website, but this isn’t enough. You can use technology, but you also need to have someplace where they can buy and then taste it. It’s all about relationships and getting to know your customers.

Marketing is the key component in any business. Mari-Lyn recalls working with a client who put together a flyer, but it didn’t say how to get in touch with him. And when she checked his website, there was no email or way to contact him.

He had an ineffective marketing materials. When you don’t have a thought-out marketing plan, it’s easy to forget simple things like this.

A sales and marketing strategy will help you execute. The strategy is the layout of action steps you’re going to take to get the marketing done that drives your sales.

6. Build a marketing map.

You have to know your audience before you build your marketing map. This is a plan. Find some customers and build your plan at the same time. Your marketing map can be simple. It’s your hub.

From your hub, you have different tactics or action steps to reach out to your tribe. You write out how you’re going to do it. You develop content to help deliver the message about your product. You don’t need a business plan unless you’re going after funding.

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Let’s take, for example, a personal chef. You may not know how to get your services out in the market place, but the marketing map helps you to develop your business easily. You may want to blog, for example. The blog helps you educate your future customers on how to prepare food or get to know you better.

5 Essential appliances for easy healthy meals

You can blog about how you help your customers. For example, one chef discovered that his client was lacking in magnesium so he prepared foods with more magnesium which helped her feel better. If you decide to blog, here are some things you need to consider:

  • Who will participate in writing content?
  • How will you get new content on a regular basis?
  • How will you share the information?

Many people feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to go. The marketing map gives you clarity in knowing your next step and how to effectively use your time.

7. Get sales.

Put your sales strategy to work. When someone eats your food, you want them to have a great experience when they taste it. You want it to be memorable. You want people to say, “this is incredible,” or “I love this!” The sales part happens when people buy that taste and experience.

TrustYourHeartKindleeBookMari-LynHarrisOnce you have a small tribe, you can develop partners who can help you get more sales. As a startup you may not have a large budget, so the quickest way is to develop collaborative partnerships.

Building relationships with people will help you get sales. Mari-Lyn worked with Marnie Pherson and 23 other business builders. Each wrote a chapter in the book about leveraging relationships. It reached the Amazon Best Sellers list in March 2012.

Have you ever though about writing a cookbook? Books help give you authority. When you collaborate with others toward a common goal, you often get there much faster than going solo.

Mari-Lyn offers workshops on “someone you ought to meet.” She helps her clients develop partnerships who can help them get sales.

8. Get help if you need it.

If you don’t have the resources or people in your community, then join other groups for support. If you live in the Silicon Valley area, you can join the Food Entrepreneur networking group hosted by Food 4 Social Change, which is a cluster of food professionals such as manufacturers, chefs, suppliers and vendors. Everyone can help each other.

9. Execute your strategy.

Executing your marketing strategy is picking something that’s a tool. Who will do what. How will I execute it? It’s all about the who, what, when, where why, how. It’s usually a series of tactics to get things done. Whether it’s your marketing or sales strategy, the execution is all about the who, what when, where why how.

Wally Amos, the legend behind Famous Amos Cookies and founder of the Cookie Kahuna, was featured in the August 2014 issue of Costco Connection magazine. His and his partner came to a point where they had different ideas about how to execute their business plan. He decided to stick with his original plan and grow his company organically.

Mari-Lyn Harris, Food Entrepreneur Coach at Food 4 Social Change

Mari-Lyn Harris, Food Entrepreneur Coach at Food 4 Social Change

To him, focus means that you need to follow one course until you’re successful.

Whether you’re a caterer, a food-truck owner, a specialty food maker, or even Wally “Famous Amos,” most food entrepreneurs lack the sales and marketing skills they need to succeed. But Mari-Lyn can help.

Mari-Lyn Harris is a business consultant who has been coaching entrepreneurs since 1996. She coaches food startups to build out customized plans for their future. Mari-Lyn is also the Founder and CEO of Food 4 Social Change. The vision is to create jobs by assisting food entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams of a bold and vibrant business community. One of the things Food 4 Social Change offers is a business networking group to help create a vibrant food community.

Call Mari-Lyn at 510-564-7880 to help you develop your customized marketing map.

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8 Great tips for entrepreneurs to create a winning pitch

One of the richest men on earth, Bill Gates, says “half of Silicon Valley startups are silly.” He’s right, though perhaps a bit blunt. According to Microsoft‘s founder, plenty of great sounding one-line ideas won’t actually work.

GatesMicrosoftKindleBookCoverStay out of the “silly 50%” category by sharing your idea with a proper pitch. Whether your vision is a Facebook-size epic or a thriving brick and mortar business, it’s absolutely critical to get clear on your value proposition, competitive advantage and growth strategies. And do it early! How? Prepare a winning pitch.

“Pitching utterly focuses your mind to discover and prove the assumptions behind your idea,” says Roy Terry, a professional pitch coach based in the heart of Silicon Valley. Read on for his tips on how to pitch smarter, learn faster and build your dream.

1. Understand the goal of your pitch.

A pitch is a call to arms. You have a just cause to create a good result in the world and you’re asking others to share in your triumph. You want them to feel that it’s good for them to get involved. The goal is to motivate your audience to take action through logic plus emotion.

Emotion is more powerful than logic. Logic gets you in the door, but emotion gets you the business. The best starting point to generate emotion through your unique exciting idea. You want to pitch the “wow factor” of your idea. Ultimately it’s emotion that moves people to buy your product.

2. Use short colorful phrases to make your pitch stick.

It’s a common short-fall of many people to use long sentences. Punctuate your pitch with short sentences that carry your message. Mixing sentence styles and pace literally changes the listeners’ openness to receive your message. Remember to slow down and instead of giving explanations, make a crisp statement. Streamline your message to win converts.

3. Use a winning structure.

A pitch takes the audience from troubles to triumph. Start with a 15-second sound bite that captures the what of your company. Explain how you deliver value to specific customers. Then describe the problem.

Remember, the flip-side of every problem is an opportunity. Are there enough people who care enough about this issue? Incorporate a story to illustrate why this problem is important to a lot of people. Show how your solution solves the problem. Make it practical, unique and superior.

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4. Incorporate story.

The most fertile ground for your pitch is a personal story. Tell people how you found the vision for your business. A problem is like a bear. You want them to feel the sense of an agitated bear in the room. Your solution calms the bear or makes him go away entirely. People have lots of bears in their lives, but they don’t have the time or know-how to make them all go away.

The second fertile ground is the story of how you realized that your solution was the winner. Tell a story about how a customer expressed their enthusiasm or gratitude for your solution. Make sure each anecdote has a conflict and resolution.

5. Rehearse with adult supervision.

Your peers and best friends don’t have the best perspective. Seek a friendly senior advisor and take their advice. Ask your expert if they would repeat your pitch to someone else. It’s best to get advice from a number of people, but if you work with an pitch expert, he or she can help you quicker. As you develop the pitch, incorporate changes based on audience response.

The man in this video won the “worst ever pitch and product on BBC Dragons’ Den.”

Here are some of the common errors he made in his infamous pitch. He failed to do the following:

  • provide an overview of his business hypothesis that could have demonstrated savvy or credibility
  • convincingly demonstrate a large or serious problem
  • convey unique value and defendable advantage of the technology
  • respond flexibly to questions and criticism

6. Be approachable and willing to learn.

The purpose of your pitch is to motivate the audience, so be responsive to their viewpoint and willing to acknowledge and value their suggestions. When they view you as an expert collaborator who can help them solve their problem, calm their bears, they’re likely to engage.

7. Make your pitch a feel-good celebration.

This point relates to both structure and story-telling. You start with a serious problem and in the end, you offer a great solution. A great pitch is the ultimate feel-good story where the good guy wins in the end. Make your feel-good story extend into future solutions for more and more people.

8. Make it easy to follow up.

Offer at least two ways for people to take action. A pitch without an invitation is flat. A pitch needs to be about the future. Let them know what you want them to do. In traditional advertising this is your call to action (CTA).

Check out this vintage pitch of Steve Jobs introducing the iPod. It’s an oldie, but a goody.

In this pitch, Jobs covers all the usual persuasive points. However, since he’s speaking as a famous person with an iconic and legendary company, he can skip some steps. Nevertheless, here’s what Jobs does well:

  • SteveJobsKindleBookCoverOverview: It’s Apple introducing a new product. He explains in simple and compelling terms how the retail music device business is ripe for disruption.
  • Problem: All the existing devices have serious capacity, expense and convenience issues. There is no market leader.
  • Solution: An easy-to-use Apple MP3 device with CD quality that gives you 1000 songs in your pocket.
  • Business Model: In a consumer pitch, the business model consists of making adoption easy, addressing pragmatic questions such as: How fast will it charge up? Will it work with my computer? How much does it cost? Jobs provides smooth answers to all the basic questions.
  • Ask: The CTA is omitted because we already know it’s a sales pitch and the CTA is “buy one.”

Just in case you’re looking for a more current-day pitch, check out this winning startup pitch that Vurb did at TechCrunch DISRUPT:

 How to accomplish a big goal: Get in the right position

Roy Terry, The Primal Pitch

Roy Terry, The Primal Pitch

Roy Terry is a professional pitch coach who has served numerous startups in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. He serves both local and visiting overseas companies. He offers pitch-coaching sessions from time to time at Hanhai Investments. Roy’s clients include HP, Oracle, Talenttoday, PageyourselfPriceMatch and others. Roy is trained as a public speaker and NLP practitioner. He incorporates knowledge and practice from stage acting and hypnosis.

You probably already have a great value proposition. Now it’s time to create a pitch that motivates people to choose you. A great pitch is logic plus emotion. Call or email Roy at The Primal Pitch to build your winning pitch together.

 

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How to find a trustworthy doctor for a dental implant

Your smile is one of your greatest personal assets. If you’re looking for a way to replace missing teeth and restore your beautiful smile, implants are a terrific solution. Regardless of which tooth (or teeth) you lost, implants can be a great way to create natural-looking replacements that are customized to you.

Vietnam granny with the playful spirit of a child. Photography by Heward Jue

Vietnam granny with the playful spirit of a child. Photography by Heward Jue

The most important step in getting a dental implant is finding a doctor who’s right for you. It’s equally important that you find a doctor who will help you understand the process and what to expect along the way. Dr. Wen Fan, an oral surgeon practicing in Silicon Valley, provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on dental implants:

Who do I go to?

Dental implants typically involve two doctors: your general dentist and an oral surgeon. The surgeon removes the non-restorable tooth (if necessary) and places the dental implant. Your general dentist places the dental crown on the dental implant to make sure it has appropriate esthetic form and function.

The best way to find a surgeon is to have your dentist recommend a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon or find one through the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

How long does it take?

Typically, the oral surgeon will first remove the bad tooth and and place a bone graft. The bone graft helps to strengthen the area so that your dental implant will be secure. The average bone healing time is about 3-6 months. After the bone has healed, a the oral surgeon can do the dental implant. The newly placed dental implant will need 3-6 months to integrate or “fuse” to the bone. Once this is complete, you go back to your general dentist for the crown.

Can I get a “tooth in a day?”

In some cases, dental implants can be placed at the same time as removing the bad tooth. This is considered an “immediate” implant. For front teeth that affect your smile, temporary crowns can sometimes also be immediately attached to the dental implant as well. This technique works very well in the right situations. This type of temporary crown is short-lived and needs to be replaced with a permanent crown once the implant has integrated. Be aware that this technique should only be used in very specific situations.

DensitsHeliumCartoonIs it painful?

Most people have some mild soreness for a few days after the tooth is pulled, but most surgeons prescribe some pain medications to help ease the discomfort.

Surprisingly, most people have less discomfort after the dental implant placement than their initial extraction. Most patients will have some mild soreness for 1-2 days that is relieved with over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen.

How long do dental implants last?

Everyone’s biology is different so there is not guarantee on the longevity of dental implants, but many believe that a healthy dental implant will last a lifetime. Since our current form of dental implants was not introduced until the early 1980’s, there really isn’t enough data to make a blanket statement that implants last a lifetime. A lifetime can be 20 more years for some, but 50 or more years for others. We do have good data that shows healthy implants can last 20-30 years, but will they last longer? Probably, but we just don’t have good long term studies yet.

What should I watch out for?

If you feel that the doctor is pressuring you to get an implant . . . be wary. Successful, established and experienced surgeons love providing their patients with dental implant care, but never pressure them. Choose a doctor who takes the time to educate you and allow you to make an informed decision. Make sure you find surgeon who’s willing to take the time to communicate and allow you to digest the information.

Be wary of dentists (non-surgeons) who claim to have “implant certificates” or “special training” in implants. These “implant training certificates” or special implant training are not recognized by the American Dental Association, and often times consist of a few weekend classes that practice on an animal jaws in a classroom.  Your best bet is to seek out a Board Certified Surgeon.

Be wary of any doctor who tells you that implants are free of complications or that they have not personally had complications. Any surgeon that works with implants routinely will have complications. Granted the complications may not be significant, but they do happen from time to time.

Be aware of discount pricing that’s routinely advertised. Practitioners who offer discount prices may be using knock-off or generic implants. These lesser brands have issues with quality control and long term stability. Find out if the surgeon is using a reputable implant system. The three most popular and reputable implants are: Nobel Biocare, Straumann and BIOMET 3i.

Dental implants are an investment in both your health and appearance. If you don’t feel quite right or comfortable with your surgeon for any reason, get a second opinion. Not all patient-doctor relationships are a good fit, so there is no need to force it. Before making your final decision, you may also want to check for reviews on Yelp or other sites specifically designed for doctor reviews.

Why we need to do doctor reviews on our last doctor visits

A patient sat in a dental chair with a broken front tooth. After discussing the restoration procedure, the patient said, “Before we begin Doc, I gotta know if I’ll be able to play the trumpet when you’re finished?”
“Of course you will,” the dentist said.

“Great! I couldn’t play a note before.” Dental India

Wen S. Fan, DMD, MD

Wen S. Fan, DMD, MD

Dr. Wen Fan obtained his DMD from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and his MD from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has special interest and expertise in the field of dental implant surgery, orthognathic/corrective jaw surgery and pathology. He practices in both San Jose and Cupertino, CA. He’s fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese. He’s also a diplomate on the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

 

 

When’s the last time you did a check up on your dentist? 

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9 Ergonomic tips from a Silicon Valley chiropractor

My neck and right shoulder were really bothering me, especially on days when I spent a lot of time on my computer. That’s when I finally decided to seek professional help and get an ergonomic assessment from Dr. Jackie Casab.

“What kind of computer do you use?” she asked.

“A Mac,” I said. “I often work remotely using my laptop.”

Apple products are all about style and looking pretty. They have nothing to do with ergonomic correctness at all,” she told me. “When you’re looking at products, don’t pay attention to the brand name. Pay attention to what will work best for your health, especially if you’re working on a computer every day.”

monkey man evolution

monkey man evolution

“Many products are interchangeable these days. Just because you use a Mac doesn’t mean you need to use their mouse or keyboard,” she said. Then she continued on with a number of suggestions on how to improve work posture. Here are the ergonomic tips she recommends for anyone who feels achey or stressed after working on a computer all day:

1. Trash your stylish mouse.

Put the palms of your hands flat on your keyboard. This is called pronation. It’s an unnatural position for your hands and wrists. Now put your palms together. This is a natural position for your hands. It should feel better.

Are you attached to your mouse much of the day? If so, use a mouse that requires as little pronation as possible. Pronation causes irritation to all your wrist and arm muscles.

It can be especially irritating if you rest your wrist on your computer or desktop. Your chances of causing carpal tunnel syndrome, radial tunnel syndrome, extensor tendonitis or rotator cuff tendonitis are all increased. If you mouse a lot, trade your stylish mouse in for one that’s more ergonomic, such as the Anker wireless vertical ergonomic optical mouse.

2. Make sure your arms are as close to your side as possible.

When you hold your arms out too far, you put stress on your rotator cuffs. This is most likely to happen with your dominant mousing arm.

Holding your arms out can cause shoulder irritation, pain and disfunction. Eventually it will cause numbness and tingling into the fingers. It can also bring on carpal tunnel-like symptoms. To avoid this, try one or all of the following:

  • Use a keyboard without a 10-key pad on the right side of the keyboard.
  • Alternate your mouse back and forth equally between your dominant and non-dominant hand. Only about 1 in 100 people are ambidextrous. If you’re one of them, this solution may work well, but if not, just realize there can be a learning curve involved.
  • Add a Humanscale keyboard with a clip mouse to your desktop so that you can adjust your keyboard and mouse for custom support and comfort.

3. Relax the angle of your elbows.

Keep the angle of your elbows between 100-120 degrees. If you don’t, you’ll constrict nerves causing increased muscle tightness and irritation which leads to some of the symptoms such as muscle ache or elbow pain that may be construed as carpal tunnel.

WomanViewingDocumentsatDesk

How not to sit when working at a computer. See how the angles formed by the joints in her arms, legs and hips are too small.

 4. Sit straight with your shoulders rolled back and down.

When you lean toward your computer, you automatically hunch your back. This increases the tension and irritation in your shoulders.

When your shoulders roll forward, you’re automatically raising them. This tightens the muscles along the tops of the shoulders and increases symptoms such as lower neck pain, fatigue, headaches and other common stress symptoms.

Next time you feel stressed at your desk, lean back and relax your shoulders. It will go a long way in helping to reduce the tension in your body.

5. Relax the angles of your lower body.

Have a slight downward angle in your seat so that your hips form an angle that’s greater than 90 degrees. Let your feet sit flat on a surface below your chair. Your knees should be at an angle of 90-100 degrees.

Your knees work the same as your elbows. If you close the angle too much, it causes constriction of your nerves and blood flow. This can lead to decreased blood flow throughout your lower limbs which may make you feel cold. It can also cause muscle tightness or cramping.

hold your head up high when working at your computer

6. Hold your head up and back.

Dropping your head angle more than 30 degrees is considered excessive flexion of the neck. This increases the tension across the top of your shoulder and in the muscles in the back of your skull.

It also greatly increases your chance of sprain, strain, fatigue and the likelihood of getting tension headaches.

7. Make sure your eyes land in the upper third of your screen.

“Laptops are never ergonomic,” Dr. Jackie says. “You can’t possibly have your screen and keyboard in the right place at the same time when using a laptop.”

Make sure your main screen is sitting high enough so that when you’re looking straight out, you’re looking at the upper third of the screen. This works easiest if you have a second screen at your desktop or a detached keyboard.

If your desktop is high, use a keyboard on your lap. Choose a tent keyboard or one with a bit of an ergonomic wave, such as the Microsoft natural ergonomic keyboard.

8. Use the 20-20-20 rule.

Look 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes when working on a computer. One of the reasons people have sight problems is that their eyes get fatigued from staring at screens too long.

When you look at least 20 feet away it allows your eye muscles to completely relax. This decreases your amount of eye fatigue and your chances of vision degeneration. Set a timer to help you remember to do this every 20 minutes or download a 20-20-20 app.

But what if you work in an office with no window? Plan reasons to get up: take a bathroom break, walk to lunch, take a water break, walk while you’re taking a phone call, schedule meetings outside your office. Keep your eyes and your body active throughout your workday.

9. Get up and move at least once an hour.

If you sit too long, the ligaments in your back and spine start to stretch. They’re like rubber bands. Over time, they can’t recoil as easily. This can cause instability and lower back pain. A lot of people resort to pain medications, anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants which mask the symptoms. But because these drugs don’t solve the problem, their physical condition continues to go downhill. Get up every hour to do some stretches, even if you work in a cubicle.

10 Tips from a Silicon Valley author in love with hiking

If your concerned about the cost of purchasing products to support good ergonomics, be sure to ask your employer. In many cases companies will pay for these tools. In the long run, they’ll have more satisfied employees with fewer sick days. For more information on employer responsibilities and worker rights on ergonomics, see the OSHA guidelines for prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace.

JackieCasabSportsWellnessChiropractic2014-06-10

Dr. Jackie Casab of Casab Sports & Wellness Chiropractic

“Keep in mind that you can’t put a price on your long-term health,” says Dr. Jackie. ” If you ignore your body and its symptoms, your aches and pains will only get worse.”

You don’t need to change everything at once. It takes time to adjust to new habits. There’s a bit of a physical learning curve. It’s better to make small adjustments over time until you reach a point of feeling comfortable at the end of each workday.

After the initial adjustment with Dr. Jackie, I felt a lot of relief in my neck and back. In the following days, I also began to incorporate her recommendations in my home office and I started feeling immediate benefits.

“Be proactive and health will follow,” Dr. Jackie says.

After years of unexplained spasms and back pain, chiropractics gave Dr. Jackie relief she hadn’t felt in years. And it all happened practically overnight! Her personal experience, along with the amazing benefits that chiropractics had on her horses prompted her to pursue a career as a chiropractor. She earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

DrJackieCasabProfile

Dr. Jackie Casab

“That sense of how amazing the world can be when things are working correctly in our bodies is what I want to return to all my patients,” says Dr. Jackie.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of stress and overall tension at the end of each workday, call or text Dr. Jackie Casab at 408-372-8469 for an adjustment and personal ergonomic assessment at Casab Sports & Wellness Chiropractic.

 

 

“In addition to these tips, there are many other solutions to consider such as: foot rests, document holders, chair ergonomics, desktop height, rounded edges on desks and more,” says Dr. Jackie.

So I started looking for a new office chair. Next time I visit Dr. Jackie, I’d like to get her opinion on the Hawaii Hula chair.




Good advice from Robin Williams: Carpe Diem

I’m not a psychic, but I know what you’re doing right now. Read on. This is the most important thing you need to do right now.

" . . . the world looks different from up here." Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society

” . . . the world looks different from up here.” Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society

My friend Kent Holloway is a forensic investigator. Here’s what he shared with his Facebook friends on the death of Robin Williams . . .

I’m always rather baffled at the outpouring of sincere devastation on Facebook whenever a celebrity passes away. It truly befuddles me. After all, we don’t know most of these people in person. Few of us have actually met them. Their deaths do not affect us on any sort of personal level. Yet, the anguish and bereavement is so real for so many people.

RobinWilliamsEsquire

Robin Williams

I typically remain silent during these times, choosing not to say anything for fear of saying the wrong thing. Instead, I usually just watch in fascination or shut Facebook down for the night until the expressions of sorrow and loss have passed.

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world. IMDb

Tonight was different. I suppose I have had a bit of an epiphany as to why these deaths affect so many people, and leaves me, instead, bewildered. You see, with my job as a forensic death investigator, I see people dying every day (or nearly).

These people aren’t celebrities (well, most aren’t). Some die naturally, peacefully. Others die in more tragic ways. Some kiss their wives goodbye as they leave for work, and never return. Others fight valiantly for months, and even years, in sterile hospital suites.

Jokes for your friends who are sick and tired

But the point is, when I go to work, I know that sooner or later, I’m going to see death.

You must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most Men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out! IMDb

For most people, death is so distant. It’s far, far away. So foreign. So invasive. Sure, many people have lost loved ones, and have struggled with it. Then, eventually moved on. But when a celebrity dies, it’s a reminder of the brevity of life. Of just how fragile it is.

If it can claim the lives of the rich, famous, and amazingly talented, then how far away is it from claiming our own? Yes, we will miss many of these celebrities who have enriched so many lives with their talent . . . but more than that, they are reminders that we’re all connected.

We’re all part of the human race . . . and that means, no matter how much we wish things to be different, we all face this thing called death at some point in our lives.

It’s something I’m reminded of day in and day out. And I have days in which I handle that reminder better than others. But it’s common to me. Not so alien. Not so scary either. [Of course, I know the Author of all Life, so that helps a lot too.]

J. Kent Holloway

J. Kent Holloway

As we celebrate the lives of these people who have gone before us, don’t cower over the fact that we all will one day join them.

Instead, let their deaths help you live our own life better. Enjoy every single moment. Love one another. Make another person’s life even better than your own. After all, none of us know what tomorrow will bring.

J. Kent Holloway is an adventure author with a passion for edge-of-your-seat thrillers. A real-life legend tripper (looking for ghosts, cryptids, and buried treasures). When not writing or legend-tripping throughout the southeastern United States, or providing pulpit supply for various churches in northeast Florida, he works as a forensic death investigator.

 

There’s something you want to do that you’ve been putting off for a long time.

You know what I’m talking about.

Today is the day to begin.

Carpe diem. Seize today. Do it now!

 

Please don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day, make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular. IMDb

CLICK HERE NOW to buy Kent Holloway’s book




SIX DATING TIPS for women in search of Mr. Right

“I’ve been alone for 16 years. Where are all the good men?” Cindy asked.

“How many of them do you want?” Patricia asked.

“Just one,” Cindy said.

“We can make this happen,” Patricia assured her. Patricia is a psychic dating coach and she knew that Cindy was going to meet someone. For the next 40 minutes Patricia guided her on how to meet the right man.

Patricia saw that Cindy’s number one criteria was a man with deep pockets. She was accomplished herself, and she wanted a man who was equally successful. She had a deep fear of being saddled with a fraud and ending up with his debt.

Lovers card means you’re combining energies with another person or entity to create something new.

Lovers tarot card means you’re combining energies with another person or entity to create something new.

Although Cindy was able to meet men who appeared to have money, she always wondered if they were truly affluent. She really needed to know if a man was truly financially secure or just putting on a front. Patricia encouraged Cindy to have an intelligent conversation, as if she were talking to a banker. Patricia’s intuition served Cindy’s needs.

Cindy met with Patricia again about six months later. When she arrived, Cindy was so elated that she seemed to be floating across the room. She held out her hand showing Patricia a diamond that was the size of an almond. She met her dream man in a casino in Las Vegas. When the time came, she had a conversation about his financial situation and the man was just what she was looking for. Cindy was ecstatic with Patricia’s coaching!

If you’re searching for a man, here are a few dating tips for women from the Dating Diamonds expert, Patricia Fuqua:

1. Understand yourself so you can know who you want to fall in love with.

“What makes you the kind of person a man would want to be with? You need to know what you want to attract and what you want to experience,” Patricia says.

Too many women think about what they don’t want instead of what they do want. Know what your strengths are in a relationship and what your attitudes are.  This is how you will attract the emotions and experiences you’re looking for. You can attract what you want, but you have to live it and believe it.

2. Be positive.

“Are you exuding positive affirming energy? Some women don’t realize that their negative thinking and attitudes about men are keeping them single. Negativity comes from past experiences that were emotionally or physically traumatic, but each relationship is new,” Patricia tells her clients. “There’s no value in carrying old baggage into new relationships.”

Online Dating Magazine Cartoon tips women

It’s important to be aware of how you’re approaching men and how you feel about them. You have to to be able to shift your energy to be more positive and see the possibilities in them. You must believe that a new relationship can be positive and open yourself up to finding the man of your dreams. Manifesting your Soulmate happens through the Law of Attraction.

3. Know the types of men you want to avoid.

“Do you know your deal-breakers? My clients often tell me they’re looking for chemistry, someone who’s hot or has these types of clothes or looks, but what they need to know is that looks and bodies sometimes come with addictions or cruelty. Just because a guy is good-looking doesn’t mean he’ll be a good protector or provider,” Patricia warns her clients.

It’s easy to become attracted to someone who seems exciting or hot, but he can’t fully support you when he’s consumed by chasing other things. Whether he’s bodybuilding at the gym every day or has some other extreme passion that takes priority in his life, he’ll always leave you wanting.

Tiger Woods cheated

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If you know yourself and what you want to experience, going after the hot sexy guy who’s emotionally unavailable can be counterproductive. Know the types of men you want to avoid. Deep down, most women are looking for an alpha-man to love and protect them.

4. Have a strategy to keep focused in your search.

“What is your relationship goal? Do you want a partner, a boyfriend, a husband or just a one-night stand? Be clear. Once you know what you want, you can align your strategy to achieve it. You know how to present yourself on dates, speak the part and appeal to the kind of man who wants what you’re searching for,” Patricia says.

How to accomplish a BIG GOAL: Get in the right position

This increases your chances because your actions are aligned with your goal. If a guy thinks you’re dressed like a slut, he’s not going to look at you as wife material. You have to be ready and open all the time when you go out. Align everything toward your goal.

5. Be patient and compassionate.

“When cute fades, what have you got? You may wish you could order a man like you order a customized coffee at Starbucks, but it isn’t going to happen. When your searching for someone you want to fall in love with, it’s important to be patient. It’s all a numbers game.”

Online services have lots of men and some sign up for multiple sites. Before you sign up for an online dating service, carefully consider how you portray yourself. Focus on classic qualities. Once you know what you want, it’s easier to know the personality categories you’re looking for and men that are compatible with yours.

Abstract qualities have outward signs. Learn to notice the clothes men wear, the speed of their thinking, their movements, and their approach with women. These are indicators you want to watch for to decide whether or not you should go on a second or third date.

GetLostYouLoserEmailCartoon

6. Get a coach or participate in a support group.

Do you trust your natural intuition? Think about all the chatter that goes on in your mind. It helps to get the conversations out of your head when you talk with others who have your best interest at heart. Although women can perceive that a relationship isn’t going to work in the long run, they’ll often go on dating guys, even though they know they’re dead end relationships. You need to be nice to others, but also avoid wasting time or getting your heart broken. Stay focused on your ultimate goal.

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“Everything is energy and vibrates at different frequencies. If you have been attracting men who don’t work out in relationships, you know that it’s a sign for you to increase your vibration through shifting your belief about what kind of partner suits you. When you love and appreciate your qualities and your peace, the quality of men that you attract will improve,” Patricia says. “The natural Law of Vibration says that like attracts like. What are you like?”

Patricia Fuqua Dating Diamonds

Both women and men fantasize about relationships. Make sure that you’re present, listening carefully and paying attention when you’re with a man, as well as paying attention to how you feel when you aren’t. It’s important to have a sounding board. Patricia helps women understand what they want to experience and how to attract the right men into their lives.

If you’re one of those women who has made massive mistakes in the past and want to change your dating destiny, call Patricia at 650-877-2563. If you live in Silicon Valley or the San Francisco Bay Area, you can schedule a private consultation in person with Patricia or attend one of her MeetUps.

 

CLICK HERE to buy Patricia’s book now.